Maia and I made a volcano the other day. She was home sick from school and we had plenty of time to build Mt. Fuji out of lavender playdough, add an ecosystem of trees, flowers, and shrubs, and then set off a series of eruptions. She hasn't stopped talking about it.
First we shaped the volcano by wrapping playdough around a quart glass mason jar. We used a batch of no-cook playdough that I was not so thrilled with (more on that later), and didn't mind sacrificing to make a volcano. I've wanted to make one out of paper mache forever now, but this was a last minute project so we used what we had at hand. I've also heard of people mixing a quick batch of salt dough to use for this part or just crumpling aluminum foil around a soda bottle for the mountain.
After the last of the lavender playdough was used, we decided to cover the platter with the rest of the playdough we had in the house. Quite an artful volcano, no?
And then we added landscaping to Mt. Fuji by poking various nature items into the playdough for trees, flowers, and bushes. We also included pebbles for boulders and a bridge made of sticks.
For the quantities of baking soda, etc, I followed this tutorial I found on Weather Wiz Kids. When I was a child, we made our volcano with just baking soda and vinegar, but this tutorial calls for a little more and I think it was was worth doing.
First we mixed red food coloring with warm water...
Then poured it into the jar hidden inside the volcano. We added six drops of dish soap, two Tablespoons of baking soda, then the vinegar.
It was an awesome eruption! Quicker and bigger than I expected -- I didn't photograph it quick enough.
We wrapped towels around our platter, to catch the overflow I wasn't expecting, and proceeded to set off a total of seven volcanic eruptions in our kitchen!
Fun times can be had wearing pajamas in the middle of a sick day.
We need to do some more fun science experiments! I'd love to hear your favorites...